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Feel the burn with these Halloween-themed workouts

For many Halloween enthusiasts, the beginning of October marks the countdown to the truly spooky holiday. Whether you’re looking to tone up for your costume or want to improve your overall well-being, getting enough exercise is more important now than ever. After all, you have to prepare for all that candy you’ll eat come that frightful night. Get into shape – and the Halloween spirit – with these fun, holiday-inspired workouts:

Pumpkin squats

You’ll find quite a few varieties of pumpkins at your local grocery store, and they can weigh anywhere from 10 to 20 pounds (though they also come in more monstrous sizes). Their heavier weight plus an easy-to-hold size makes them ideal for replacing medicine balls. For this glute-working exercise, make sure you select a gourd that you can carry without making your muscles ache.

With your feet spread shoulder-width apart, hold the pumpkin at chest level. Keep your back straight and bend your knees at a 90-degree angle. In this position, your knees should not be further out than your toes, and your feet must be flat on the ground. Rise back to the standing position. Do three sets of 15 repetitions to complete this workout.

Spooky Zumba

Zumba is the latest craze in cardio workouts in which you use dance moves to get your body into shape. Because it’s become such a popular exercise, most gyms offer classes on a regular basis. Talk to your gym’s Zumba instructor about putting together a Halloween-inspired routine. Of course, you’ll need some upbeat tunes to get everyone motivated. Some popular Halloween-appropriate songs that fit the bill include:

  • “Thriller” by Michael Jackson.
  • “This is Halloween” by Danny Elfman.
  • “I Put a Spell on You”  by Bette Midler.
  • “I Want Candy,” by Bow Wow Wow.

If your instructor already has a routine set for the month, just crank the tunes in your own house! The important thing is to stay active, no matter if it’s in a gym or your home.

Twisted core

Another exercise that requires a pumpkin, the twisted core workout focuses on toning your obliques. Sit on the ground with your knees bent and your feet together and about an inch off the floor. With the pumpkin in your hands, twist your torso and touch the pumpkin to the ground. Twist in the other direction, again touching the pumpkin to the floor. This entire process counts as one whole repetition. Do three sets of 10 repetitions.

Use your personal massager after your workout to relieve muscle soreness. Focus on the areas that you just used.